Day 27 – Ashley

The more that I surround myself with new and unique people who have traveled the world the more that I realize that there is so much more that I want to do and see. For instance, did you know that once a year in Spain there’s a festival where the whole town stops for a day to have a giant tomato fight?! Or that in Thailand there is a city wide water fight where for an entire week anyone and everyone in sight is constantly trying to soak each other. You can’t stay dry even if you tried. Then there is the Three Peaks Challenge where people have 24 hours to climb three prominent mountains located in Scotland, Wales, and England. You climb in teams and fund raise beforehand with all of the charitable proceeds going to a charity of your choice. There are just so many things that I have yet to see and have yet to experience.

Speaking of experiences though, I did have one pretty cool experience today… I climbed a mountain! It was one of the largest mountains in West Africa and it was called Mt. Gemi. It took about 3 hours to climb up through the jungle brush. Although we did have one asthma attack and a whole lot of scrapes from nettles and thorns we still managed to do it!

It was crazy suffocatingly hot trekking through the jungle but the view from the top was absolutely breathtaking and made it all worthwhile. The mountain looked down on a whole bunch of villages and towns, and from that high up we even got a view of the Volta Lake down below. There was a moment where I was standing on the edge of the cliff, with the wind blowing through my hair, and in my ears I could hear a current of drum beats that were being carried on the wind from a local village below. Looking around at the lush foliage, the rich agriculture, the red Earth, magnificent view, and sweet drum melody it all quite literally took my breath away and made me think “Now THIS is Africa”.

While staring out at the inspiring view I couldn’t help but be transfixed with the idea of legacies. What would your legacy be? What will you leave behind? Personally, I hope to leave a wave of happiness; a ripple of hope and love and optimism to any and all whom I meet. Going even further from that I found myself thinking about legacies but in the form of cohorts. If our parents generations were known for civil rights, WWII, and the women’s rights movement, what would we be known for? I know that I haven’t been around on this planet for very long, but in the 22 years that I have seen we have taken many long strides in terms of living green, democracy, and technology. Although some momentum has been built regarding some important movements, no large collective “Minga” (any collective community coming together as a whole to better a cause) seems to have been achieved. Perhaps looking back, what we will find to have been our core movement will be Gay Rights. Maybe rather than one large rally, protest, or political revolution our legacy will be a gradual undercurrent of acceptance for human rights globally, or who knows, maybe we really will solve world peace. All I know is that I’m excited to know that what ever comes I will be here to witness it, and maybe even be lucky enough to take part in it. Who knows, I could just start a mini happiness revolution myself. :)

“Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead

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